It's finally that time! Tomatoes are here in all shapes, sizes and colors to make delicious summer dishes. If you find yourself with more tomatoes than you can handle, take a breath. Here's a recipe for preserving tomatoes for a zippy taste of summer all year long.
1. Tomatoes are full of antioxidants and natural acidity, which can brighten and even your skin tone.
2. The tomato is the official vegetable of New Jersey and the official fruit of Ohio. Technically, it's a fruit as it has seeds and comes from a flowering plant.
3. Tomatoes' nutrients are enriched by cooking, rather than eating raw. Try the recipe below!
Tomato Confit can be used in a number of dishes, and is a good way to extend the life of some extra tomatoes that you have on hand. Tomato confit will add an intense tomato flavor to soups, stews, sandwiches, flatbreads and pastas for the next week, or packed in clean jars can be stored in a cool place for up to 6 months.
Fresh tomatoes, very ripe
Thyme, picked and chopped
Heat a stock pot with water, and bring to a boil. Prepare an ice bath nearby, and turn an oven to 200 degrees.
Score the bottom of the tomatoes, and remove the top.
Blanch each tomato in the boiling water until the skin starts flaking away, 2-3 minutes as needed. Remove the tomatoes and put into ice bath.
When all tomatoes are blanched, drain tomatoes from ice bath.
Gently peel away the skin from the tomatoes, and slice into quarters or 6 pieces according to size.
Remove the seeds from the tomato pieces, and place the pieces into a mixing bowl.
Add some salt, thyme and EVOO to the mixing bowl, and gently combine to cover the tomato pieces.
Turn off the oven. On a roasting rack with a pan underneath, arrange the tomato pieces, fleshy parts facing up, leaving space between each piece so air can circulate.
Place into the warm oven that is now off, and let the hot air somewhat dehydrate the tomatoes.
Check the tomatoes in 6 hours; they should have a completely different texture and should shrink by about half. If not, turn on the oven again for a brief time and then turn off again.
Once tomatoes have been dehydrated to the desired amount and cooled completely, layer into an appropriate container, adding more olive oil if desired, and refrigerate until you want to use.
Other tomato tips:
Fresh tomatoes free of bad spots can be washed and dried, sealed in freezer bags and frozen in a single layer. They retain all that tasty tomato flavor, perfect for soups, sauces and stews. Run under water to remove the skin, then remove the core.
Arrange tomato pieces cut side up on a baking sheet and place in a low-temperature oven (or dehydrator) for 8-12 hours. Meaty tomatoes have the least water and are the best choice for dehydrating. Avoid cherry tomatoes, which are mostly seeds and juice.
Are you somehow tired of eating tomatoes? Then try a refreshing thirst quencher like this Tomato Watermelon Fiesta cocktail.
You don't need to remove all the seeds and skin to can. Gather 25-30 pounds of ripe tomatoes, any variety except cherry tomatoes. Follow this handy method for tomato canning. Enjoy for up to a year or more!